By Mrs. Gloria Colonbuzatu (IMCOM)April 4, 2011
STUTTGART, Germany -- The U.S. Army Reserve commanding general and command sergeant major held a town hall meeting at Patch Barracks March 20 to brief reservists stationed in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart on the Army Reserve 2020 Vision and Strategy, the Army Reserve's road map for the future.
Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of the U.S. Army Reserve, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz, USAR command sergeant major, discussed the challenges facing the force and new initiates that will change the way the Reserve works.
Stultz iterated that the Army must have a Reserve trained and ready to meet the operational challenges today and in the future.
Between the Cold War and Sept. 11, 2001, the Army Reserve evolved from a strategic to an operational Reserve. Explaining this change was first on Stultz's agenda.
"Operational Reserve is not a Reserve component term. It's an Army term -- that's what we've become," he said. "The idea now is you're in the Army Reserve -- you're going to go forward, somewhere, about every five years and you're going to do something."
The landscape of the USAR missions will be different in order to meet the military demands of the nation, he added. Security cooperation and training missions in Africa, humanitarian missions in South America, and supporting military exercises around the world will require an operational force.
Streamlining to maintain and develop a mentally and physically stronger Reserve is part of the 2020 plan.
"To make room for growth, you have to show cause to stay in the force," Stultz said. This is the reason for reinstituting the qualitative management program and implementing tighter controls in the promotion system, he added.
Schultz described three new initiatives in detail.
The first is a semi-centralized enlisted promotion system. In the past, enlisted Soldiers seeking promotion to a sergeant or staff sergeant could be awarded points toward the promotion by the their commander and promotion board (up to 150 points each). Now, these points will be eliminated and more emphasis in being placed on military training and education.
A Soldier going before a sergeant's board under the new system will receive points in the following areas: awards (125 instead of 100), military education (260 instead of 200), civilian education (75 instead of 100) and military training (340 instead of 100) for a total of 800 points. This system will go into effect in June 2011.
Second, enlisted Soldiers are required to complete certain levels of "Structured Self-Development"- a five-level online program. SSD levels 1-4 are required and linked to noncommissioned officer education schools and promotion. The purpose of SSD is to close the gap between classroom NCO education and continued military education during operational assignment. The new policy will take effect in June.
Third, officers, enlisted Soldiers and civilians will soon be able to plan and track their careers using the Army Career Tracker, a personalized, web-based program. Reservists can access the ACT in July.
These initiatives will provide a bright future for the Army by keeping Soldiers on track with training and education, Schultz said.
"As we shape the force, it's going to be the best and brightest who want to serve," he said.
For more information on 2020 Vision and Strategy and the Army Reserve, visit www.usar.army.mil.